Thursday, December 20, 2012


Guess what's DONE.

Oh yeah, it's done.

That pic is kind of crap since I forgot to snap it while it was still on the easel.

I can't believe I finished a painting in only FOUR sessions.  That's light spead for me.

I'm not sure how I feel about this finished painting.  I don't have any really strong feelings about it.  I like it because I accomplished what I wanted to do (a different style and a quick painting) but I dislike it because it doesn't make me react much and it doesn't make other people react much.  I guess it's more a painting for me (for the fun of it) then a display piece for others to really enjoy. 

I'm quite happy with it and had fun doing it so that makes it a success.

Now I get to think about what I want to do NEXT.

I'm thinking it's time to finally get some oval canvases.  I've been wanting to play with those for a while.

That would mean only one thing then. . .PORTRAITS.

Robot Portraits.

Yeah, I like the sound of that.  That will motivate me to finish the second robot I abandoned months ago.  I need to make two Robot Portraits.  One of Mr. Roboto and one of his companion, Cylindra (yes, I named the as yet unfinished robot and she's a she). 

I'm going back to my more realistic style (with lots of shading/blending--I do enjoy that) but I think I'll go for smallish canvases (so I might get them both done in a years time--I paint so slowly!).

I won't be painting again until the new class session starts so that will give me plenty of time to get Cylindra done and get my canvases.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

"J+X": Progress report

It's almost done!

It's so weird that I could get a painting done in only four sessions.  I feel like I'm cheating or something.

Here's where it was when I started last night:

And after:

Subtle differences are subtle.

You can see a bit of the shading (on the head, dress and boots) and of course the pink blobby dots representing the elephant sequins (on the original painting).  I also added a bit of shading on the black but it's not really noticable in the pic.  It's also not super obvious in person, either.  The black was still wet so the added white was kind of swallowed up. 

Next week (last session until next semester) I'll touch up the black shading (make it pop) and add the yellow blobs (I think two really bright ones representing the flowers on the dress) and I think this one will be DONE.  (yeah, I'll probably diddle around with other parts, but I only have two real things on the "to do" list).

So that leaves me wondering what I'm going to do for my NEXT painting.

I really want to work with an oval canvas so I'm thinking a small series of Funky Portraits.  Maybe that will motivate me to finish the cylindrical robot I've let languish.  Then I can do a set of Robot Portraits.  Or maybe a set of Squid Portraits.  I know Violetta would love to have her portrait painted.

Yeah, I really want to do oval shaped portraits.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

WINNER: Charming Travelers

The Charming Travelers are ready to move on to. . .

KellyS's house.

She was the lucky winner (I did an old school draw and made up slips of paper and pulled from a my hat).

Kelly, I just emailed you for your shipping address, so check your spam.

If for some reason I don't get an address from Kelly in three days, I'll draw again from the names I already have.

Thanks for playing along!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Sewing!!

Saturday I got a buttload of sewing done.

A buttload in the form of ALL of the items I wanted to sew for my sister's christmas gift.

Time to show it all off.

My sister LOVES The Grinch.  I bought a bit of Grinch fabric (back in the summer) and really couldn't think of what I was going to do with it.  Some of it was panels, which I assumed I'd make into pillows or a quilt.  But my sister's not one much for decorative pillows and by the time I got around to sewing there was no time for something big like a quilt.

Then the answer presented itself to me when I won a free stocking pattern.

That's the front and back.

I cut images from the panels and other grinchy fabric I had so I could tell the whole grinch story on the stocking.


"Every who dowin n who-ville liked christmas a lot. . ."

But the Grinch, who lived just north of who-ville, did not.

So the Grinch comes up with a wonder, awful plan.  (to dress as Santa and steal all the gifts--thinking if there are no gifts then there is no christmas).

REDEMPTION ARC (right there on the heel!) leading to a much nicer Grinch mugging with little Cindy Lou Who (who was no more that two--and has antennae--love her antennae).

The hanger is some cool ribbon I bought purely because it was Grinch (and I'd find some use for it).  The lining is some all over print Who fabric.

It turned out very well.  It was my first time working with batting and doing anything truly quilty.  I just randomly pieced the images to each other without really thinking about how I was piecing it (not a lot of measuring except to see if things fit on the stocking shape).

My sister also LOVES The Lorax.  Around the same time I bought the Grinch fabric, I got some Lorax, too.  Again, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it but I knew I'd find something (and I still do want to make my sister a quilt, with Grinch on one side and Lorax on the other).

I found a free tutorial for a simple zippered pouch so I figured it was a good time to learn how to use the zipper foot that came with my sewing machine (I wasn't even aware I had a zipper foot until I checked--happy surprise there!).

I got lucky and the panel images were just a wee bit bigger than the size the pattern called for, so I just cut them out directly and then cut the lining fabric (per instructions).

I like the image on the back of the bag, with the little boy giving the Onceler the nickel, the nail, and the shell from a great-great-great granddaddy snail.  I thought it was a good image for a pouch (I had a lot of other good images to pick from though).

The tutorial was SUPER easy (I forget now exactly where I got it, so I can't link to it--but there are tons of pouch tutorials out there so it wasn't anything super special) and now I'm going to whip up a few more pouches for extra gifts (and one for myself, too) using some of my stash fabric (I really need to start using up all the fabric I bought--I got out of control buying!).

OH, and I couldn't forget my cat nephew, Lowell.  I made him this:

It's a simple little cat toy using some of the scraps.  That's the other side of the image from the stocking (the Grinch is looking in the mirror as he tries on his santa outfit).  The back is just a scrap of Who fabric.  I stuffed it with polyfill laced with some killer catnip.  That should have him nice and high for the holidays.

Now I'm super excited for Christmas.  I can't wait to give all this to my sister.  I think she'll really like it (I also got her a store bought gift, just in case my handmade stuff either didn't get done or didn't turn out).

Update: Scrap Map of U.S.A.

I worked on the map again this weekend, so time to show off the progress.

While it looks like it's over halfway done, looks are deceptive.  The big states take up more space but total only about 20 states. 

My thumb got tired from all te cutting so I put the map aside again for a while.  I think I need a different pair of scissors.  I've been using my embroidery scissors (the storks) which KILL my thumb.  But I need tiny scissors to get all the little cuves cut so. . .

Yeah, I'm not looking forward to the Eastern seaboard.  Tons of tiny states over there.

(for the record, I'm not putting much if any thought into what scraps I use for what state.  I'm mostly going for best color coordination for the whole map--like not putting two fo the same color next to each other and things like that, so if you live in Kansas don't be offended that I used the hearse fabric for your lovely state)

Friday, December 7, 2012

For a Swap: Cutest Fat EVER.

Holy crap, last night I made the cutest thing.

First, a bit HELL YEAH to me for using fleece.  I'm not a fan of sewing with fleece.  I love the finished look (it's great for smushy stuffed toys) but I just don't like working with it.  It's too damn thick and I'm paranoid it will destroy my machine.  As it was my machine cried a little bit while working with it (mostly when I got to spots where multiple seams were being joined).  But all in all, it was a good fleece experience.

So, what on earth was I making with fleece?

Something GEEKY.

It's an adipose from Dr. Who.

Now I know just this side of NOTHING about Dr. Who.  But the person I'm swapping with listed it as a favorite so I was off to The Google.  I did know about the police box and some of the metal bad guys (the robots that look like upside down colanders) and that cute robot dog K9.  But I'd never seen the adipose before.  So when I found a free pattern and tutorial I had to make it (even if I'd have to use fleece).

OH, yeah, the pattern and tutorial are HERE.  I love that it was from livejournal (a blogging place I've been a part of for YEARS).

I had a fleece remnant from when I made the ham for the Easter Basket of Awesome (earlier this year), so there was no expense in making this little beastie.  And it only took about 2 hours start to finish (meaning cutting the pieces to sewing the stuffing opening shut).  I've been trying to time how long things take me so I can better estimate when folks ask for commissions.

More pics.

Cee-Lo hard at work.  (yeah, I started calling him Cee-Lo because they both have those little dinosaur arms--not merely because both are fat, I'd never mock someone merely for being fat, seeing as I'm beefy myself--though I do commit fat on fat crime).

STOP. . .I need to take a lunch break.

Get your eat on, Cee-Lo.  You're a growing fat cell, can't have you getting all deflated and dimply.

Is it a full mooon?

Oh, Cee-Lo, you naughty adipose you.  Showing us your good side, huh?

*shakes head*

You can sew them up but you can't take them out.

I really hope my swapee likes it.  Hell, I'm loving it and I know zippo about Dr. Who.  This sucker is CUTE.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

"J+X": Progress Report

Quck progress report.

Here is what it looked like when I started:

And here it is now:

I'm enjoying this painting a LOT.  The whole point is to produce something quickly and to do something I've never done before so. . .yeah, that's definitely working out perfectly.

Last but not least, a pic of both paintings side by side.

Seeing them side by side I really notice how realistic "Jackie and Xerxes" is.  My attention always focuses on Jackie but Xerxes face is really pretty realistic (if I do say so myself).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Charming Travelers (US and Canada)


Guess what showed up at my door yesterday?

Some Charming Travelers.  It's a set of 56 5 inch charms that started with From Blank Pages and has been all over the US and Canada (ok, not quite all over Canada yet).  Want to see exactly where this (the blue pack) has been?  Check it out at the travel log on From Blank Pages.

When you win the charms, you can take as many as you want then replace them (the pack must have minimum 56 5 inch charms when it leaves you!).  Make sure you follow the golden rule and add back things that you think others would like and are of good quality.  You want the Travelers to be as nice for someone else as they were for you!

Rules for winning:

1.  Must be an active blogger (so you can have a giveaway to keep the Travelers moving).
2.  Must be willing/able to mail to US or Canada
3.  Must be willing to have fun!

(ok, that last one is optional.  I won't be able to tell if you "had fun" but the Charming Travelers are fun so approach it that way!)

So if you can meet those requirements then enter the giveaway (details about that after the pictures!).

Of course, before you decide to host the Travelers you need to check them out a bit more, right?


Here is what I took from the bundle (hee hee, have to tease you with what you can't have. . .I can be cruel like that!).

I'm not sure how many folks will be heart broken over missing out on some of the weirdos I snagged.  What?  You're not lining up and rioting to get that koala charm?  Or that feline tabloid charm (yes, it's like a cat tabloid with funny headlines--I grabbed that up without hesitation).

I took a total of ten charms, eight of which I consider "pairs" which I plan to use together (like the cat tabloid and paw prints--go great together!).  The two miscellaneous ones (that aren't really pairs) were the white with the blenders and the yellow with little puppies.  Yes, I could pair them but that would be odd and mildy disturbing.


Want to see what I added to the Charming Travelers?

(the colors are a bit washed out--you know how crappy the lighting is in my house!)

Top row:  flowery shaped polka dots on a beige-ish background, mottled purple/greens (kind of looks like a watercolor painting of a field of flowers), apple trees
Middle row:  storybook gals on purple, gray and white large chevron, pale yellow with verry feint tinge of green and swirls
Bottom row:  celery on yellow, gray with flowery design, ghosts (I love that fabric--I share it all the time)
And, last but not least:  SUSHI  (a charm from the leftover fabric I used to make Biggie Smalls, the giant squid)

I tried to add in colors/patterns that were lacking in the set and replenish the "weird" factor (I depleted it pretty well) and add a few that matched charms already in the set (like the apple trees go well with another apple fabric in the set).

Ok, I'm done yapping about the charms.  Time to get on to the giveaway rules.

1.  Leave a comment on this post.  If you need a prompt, tell me which charm you think is just TOO weird/ugly (from those pictured) that you would NEVER take.

2.  Random name will be drawn Tuesday December 11.

3.  Anonymous comments welcome but make sure you include an email address so you can be contacted. 

4.  Winner has 3 days to reply to "You Won" email.  If they don't reply, another winner will be drawn from existing entries.

Remember:  This is open to US and Canada residents.

One entry per person.

Good luck!